tv The Situation Room CNN January 8, 2013 1:00pm-4:00pm PST
rejected. >> i believe it's because i am in a same-sex marriage and, you know, i tried to ask the president and the board members to call me so that we could discuss this further. i never heard from anybody. and then i went to the internet and wrote an open letter and then from there i heard from people all over the world. other gay and lesbian service members and their family and through my organization that i work with, american military partner associations, more people were stepping up and saying, yes, i have been jim nated against because of various reasons. >> we'll follow up with ashley broadway. i do want to let you know with c. this n we reach out to get the other side of the story. we got no comment. they posted that they will be reviewing their admission policy at the next meeting so we'll follow up with them as well.
a quick reminder, you can always check out any interviews on this show at cnn.com/brooke. and now wolf blitzer in washington. hey, wolf. brooke, thank you very much. dramatic new developments in the accelerating debate on guns and gun control. gabrielle giffords and nra are making their voices heard in new ways. also, egypt's new president joins me to talk about tahrir square. a one-time symbol of hope is now dirty and oppressive. plus, a mystery that started with a winning lottery ticket and ended with a deadly poisoning. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin with this
afternoon's announcement that the national rifle association is joining the white house in the discussion of gun violence in america. a representative will meet with vice president biden this week. what will they be doing? lisa sylvester is walking into "the situation room" right now. you've been doing some reporting, lisa. what is the very latest? >> wolf, leaders from both the private and public sectors are offering specific proposals on gun control, all sides aware of how politically sensitive the issue has become and the leading voice comes from someone with the political and personal experience that is sure to command attention here in washington. on the two-year anniversary of the tucson shooting and a week after a visit to newtown, gabby gi giffords wants to send a wake-up
wall. >> when it can happen to children in a classroom, it's time to say -- >> enough. >> give fords and her husband mark kelly have launched a group that will lobby lawmakers on gun legislation. a sort of counter to the national rifle association. in usa today, the couple wrote, kwoek, we saw from the nra leadership's defiant and unsympathetic response to the newtown, connecticut massacre that winning even the most commonsense reforms will require a fight. but they are trying to navigate a political balance. kelly explains why in an interview with abc. >> i have a gun. gabby and i are both gun owners. we are strong supporters of the second amendment. but we've got to do something to keep the guns from getting into the wrong hands. >> gun owners are a powerful organized group. the white house wants to reach as well. the working group led by vice president joe biden will talk to a number of gun rights advocates thursday. >> we look forward to hearing from a variety of organizations
and civic groups and others who have insights into this problem. >> both the nra and the national shooting sports foundation, the two largest groups in the country, confirmed to cnn that they would attend. but until the biden task force makes the recommendations at the end of january, there will be a policy and public relations battle with the white house getting the backing of new york mayor bloomberg. >> i think we've got to do everything we can to help joe biden. >> his group, mayors against illegal guns, launched their own campaign demanding action on capitol hill. >> my 9-year-old daughter was murdered in the tucson shooting. i have one question for political leaders, when will you find the courage to stand up to the gun lobby? >> now, the dueling ads are an anticipation of specifics from the white house. but already the rhetoric is heated and it's quite emotional, wolf. >> any more specifics on the
nra's participation in this meeting? >> we are just learning that james jay baker will be representing the nra. he's been with the nra in leadership roles off and on since the 1980s and was a campaign for john mccain in his failed bid for the presidency. wolf? >> lisa, thank you very much. we'll be anxious to see what the task force comes up with, what the president says in the state of the union address before congress. thank you. lisa, thank you very much for that report. the obama administration may be stepping up its push for some form of new gun control legislation. but will the president be able to rally the support of congress? most importantly, the american public at the same time? we'll dig deeper with our chief political analyst gloria borger. here's what the president recently said on "meet the press." i'll play the clip. >> we're not going to get this
done unless the american people decide it's important. and so this is not going to be simply a matter of me spending political capital. one of the things that you learn, having now been in this office for four years, is the old adage of public opinion. without public opinion there's not something you can't do and wut it there's very little you can't get done in this town. i'm going to be putting my full weight behind it. >> now, remind our viewers why so many democrats have been reluctant to even talk about gun control over these past several years. >> yeah. it's almost 20 years, wolf. it goes back to 1994. that was the big election which republicans took control of the congress. and democrats are still spooked by the fact that in a lot of red and purple districts, wolf, they lost because of the crime bill. you remember the crime bill with bill clinton, included in the
crime bill was the ban on assault weapons. and so for the last two decades, the democrats have been very reluctant to touch this issue because they know it's going to hurt them, particularly with gun owners who can be very intense and very motivated to come out to vote in midterm elections in particular which we're heading into. >> but public opinion may be evolving now. i'll put up on the screen, a recent poll that we took after the newtown, connecticut massacre. restrictions on guns, 13% say there should be no restricts. 70% say there should be some restrictions. 15% said make all guns illegal. 70% some restrictions which presumably is what the president is going to be calling for seems to suggest this is the time to do something. >> it does. you look at the aggregate numbers. if you're a politician you say, that's great. let's change the gun laws. but that's not what really counts. it's kind of like looking at the
national polls in a general election like we just went through versus the battleground states. what you have to pay attention to is the battleground states. and when you look at some states, you'll see that the intensity of the voters, for example, in the south will come out on gun control. in the west and in the midwest, in particular. for example, you look at tim johnson up for re-election, max baucus, marry lan drew, these are three democrats that may have some problems on the gun control issue. will the president say, we're going to propose this big package and you have to buy into it? there's a lot of give and take that has to be done on the democratic side before you even get to the republican side. it's not good enough for them to look at the polls overall. they have to know what is going to motivate the voters to come
out. >> what other calculations is the obama administration weighing right now, whether or not to go full bore, if you will, and push for new controls? >> look, i think this administration has made a decision. and we can see that in what is coming out of the joe biden's working group, is that they are going to wade into this. the president has made a decision. sometimes you have to put your chips on the table, wolf, push them all in and say, okay, this is a moment in american history that we need to take advantage of. however, what they propose and what gets passed in the congress are two very different things and i think what we're going to see is a lot of horse trading on that. there's also the rest of the president's agenda that the white house has to consider. there's certain concern among democrats, for example, if you have a protracted fight early on about gun control, there's question about what that would do to immigration reform. these things have to be balance. there's no doubt in my mind that this white house is going to come out and propose something
that's bolder than anything we've seen in decades. >> as you point out, they've got this, they've got that, they've got a lot of stuff. >> they have a lot and they have democrats to protect and they know that they'll can come under some attack for this. >> thanks very much, gloria. we are also following this afternoon's developments of the massacre at a colorado movie theater. one of the things made public for the first time, a 911 phone call with gunshots heard at a rate of more than one per second. and how the gunman bobby trapped his home. he had lavandera is joining us from colorado. pretty dramatic testimony inside that courthouse today. >> reporter: it was, wolf. we had a pretty good understanding of what was left behind but what we heard today was more surprising than anyone
could have imagined. >> there's a shooting at century theater. they are saying that someone is shooting in the auditorium. >> reporter: the first 911 call came from inside theater 9 just 18 minutes after the start "the dark knight" rises. the caller's words drourned out by a constant boom, boom, boom. 30 gunshots could be heard in that one call alone. six minutes later, the shots have sfoped. a teenage relative of 6-year-old monica sullivan calls 911. in tears, the girl tries to explain how the girl can't breathe. the girl can only respond, i can't hear you. it's too loud. i'm sorry. veronica would be the youngest victim to die in the theater that night. it's an excruciating phone call and left many watching the james holmes preliminary hearing in tears. some wish that james holmes would plead guilty.
>> what i'd like to see is throw him in a room with a toilet and nothing else, a window that he can at least see that the day is passing, and that's it. no bed, nothing. and let him just sit with his thoughts. >> even more stunning was the most skripg tif explanation of the explosive boobie-trap that he left in his apartment. he mixed the explosives himself, including explosive powders and napalm and saturated his car in gasoline and oil and rigged containers to explode. james holmes' apartment is at the top and according to an fbi bob technician, he said that holmes told him that he took a boom box and remote control car and placed it outside of a garage car. he said there was a cd that he
made. the first 40 minutes was silent to timed out to start playing very loud music. holmes hoped that somebody would come over to that trash bag and then see the remote control car and start playing with it. except that remote control was was not triggered to move the car. it was triggered to set off a device inside the apartment and that would trigger a much larger explosion. according to the fbi bomb technician, james holmes planned to have his apartment explode to distract and overwhelm first responders and he would walk into the theater a few miles away and start shooting. it's the kind of elaborate diabolical plot that seems to work for villains in a batman movie but in real life this diabolical part of the plan didn't work. and, wolf, investigators also testified today that in the month leading up to the shooting james holmes purchased the four guns that he brought to the theater that night as well as
6300 rounds of ammunition, all of this important because what prosecutors are trying to lay out here is that this wasn't a suspect that simply snapped on the night of july 20th, that this was someone who thought this out very well and planned out what he was going to do to an incredible degree. wolf? >> ed lavandera, thanks very much. we're looking into a surprising pattern into who is getting the top jobs for president obama's second term at least so far. the nation's first african-american president is drawing some criticism for, of all things, a lack of diversity. also ahead, a lottery winner collects his money and then suddenly dies. now police say he was poisoned. the mystery that's ahead. [ male announcer ] when was the last time something made your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque.
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president obama still assembling the cabinet for his second term. already some critics are wondering why the nation's first african-american president isn't more sensitive to the issue of diversity. but as our cnn white house correspondent dan lothian reports, some very important positions still remain open. let's bring in dan right now. i guess they are a little sensitive to this issue, dan? >> reporter: that's right. the president has these positions opened and already the ones that he has picked there is some resistance up on capitol hill. now as the president tries to solidify, figure out who he's going to pick in the remaining positions that he has open, there are questions about diversity and we are in a tough political environment. with key cabinet picks already announced, the defense, state,
and cia, the shift is now on others. >> does he settle on these names or still sifting through tough choices? >> he will make an announcement when he makes a decision. >> reporter: timothy geithner is expected to leave and although wall street and progressives are he can pressed concerns. someone with business expertise and with lisa jackson departing the environmental protection agency, a replacement is needed for her, too. it's a second-term ritual that douglas brinkley is often -- >> they pick people they wish they could have picked the first time around but you can't with the politics of a campaign when you're first making to the white house. >> reporter: climate is still a
factor. susan rice withdrew her name to replace hillary clinton under pressure over her actions after the benghazi attacks. >> i think the political climate matters a lot now with who you pick. it shouldn't but it does. >> reporter: and there's pressure under the president to consider diversity after a lineup that so far includes men. >> the president values diversity, believes it's important. because it enhances the quality of a pool of potential nominees for positions across the administration. but the goal in the end is to find the very best individuals for these specific positions. >> reporter: and carney insisted that the president had indeed found the best in chuck hagel, john brennan, and senator kerry and that as the president looks to fill these other positions, finding the best is what will guide him. wolf? >> the president also has an
important visit with the afghan president hamid karzai. what do they hope to accomplish? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. they will have a bilateral meeting. you can already see the flag of afghanistan flying over the blair house. that is where he will be staying while here in washington. we're told by white house aides that they will be talking about security, political and the economic transition. that, of course, is very key as the u.s. looks to 2014 to withdrawing from afghanistan. they will be talking about what the u.s. footprint will look like in afghanistan after 2014. they will have their bilateral meeting and also a working lunch and then a joint press conference, wolf. >> we'll be watching that. thanks very much, dan lothian. all right. this just coming in to "the situation room." new photos of a retired fbi agent who's been missing since 2007. robert levin son's family released the photos.
he vanished while working as a private investigator while working in iran. there is a mirror and chains in view. the other shows him holding up a sign with a grammatical error in it suggesting the messages he is holding are coerced. officials believe he's being held in southwest asia. it's unclear who is holding him. we're watching this story and watching it as more becomes available. details surrounding a deadly bus crash in oregon are emerging. they are raising serious questions about the safety record of the tour bus company. we're going to tell you what we're learning from government records. and venezuela's president hugo chavez will not be sworn in thursday. we're going to have details of the government's announcement. i didn't always watch out for myself. with unitedhealthcare, i get personalized information and rewards for addressing my health risks. but she's still going to give me a heart attack. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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venezuela's president will not be sworn in for a second term this thursday. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." >> this information is just coming into "the situation room" and the word comes from a statement from the country's vice president. cnn also confirms the inauguration will be delayed to a later date but no word when
that there be. chavez's party is calling on supporters to gather in front of the presidential palace. he's been undergoing cancer treatment for the past month in cuba. and the record-high temperatures and delay in australia's monsoon season has left large areas of brush and scrub especially dry. more than 150 fires are burning throughout the state of new south wales. 40 are not controlled. they are watching the landscape for smoke and flames and residents are being warned to prepare to evacuate. aig is considering a lawsuit against the government. the suit claims the high interest rates and 92% equity stake aig was forced to offer was unfair to shareholders. they will hear from the attorneys for the suing shareholders tomorrow and our very own ali velshi will have a live report at the top of the hour. wolf? >> lisa, thanks very much. two years after a triumphant
uprising, it's a very different scene in egypt. my exclusive interview. and scrutiny amid scenes of torture in "zero dark thirty." i thought state farm didn't have all those apps? where did you hear that? the internet. and you believed it? yeah. they can't put anything on the internet that isn't true. where did you hear that? [ both ] the internet. oh look. here comes my date. i met him on the internet. he's a french model. uh, bonjour. [ male announcer ] state farm. more mobile than ever. get to a better state.
[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast! [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. all right. let's get to our strategy session. joining us, the democratic strategist james carville and former bush white house press secretary ari fleischer. both cnn contributors. guys, thanks very much. there's going to be another huge fight in the coming weeks over raising the nation's debt
ceiling. there's going to be a battle between john boehner and mitch mcconnell. here's a washington post poll that just came out. do you approve of the budget negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff were handled? 52% agree with the president handled and only 31%, john boehner. ari, who has more political capital going into this next round? >> well, on a poll like that, john boehner is not known by 100% of the country. so it's not as indicative of that poll. the president is more popular than the congress and the president has more leverage than the congress does. at the end of the day, though, we're all in one nation and have to do something about this debt to save our children from it being such a burden. that still requires everyone to come together. no matter how you slice it, the republican hand is a weaker one, the president's is a stronger one. >> does he have any hand right now when it comes to raising the nation's debt ceiling? i'm talking about john boehner and the republicans giving the enormous consequences of failure
to do so for the overall u.s. economy, james. >> you know, you don't know. there's a lot of talk about letting it happen and the fiscal cliff that actually go over the cliff. on this one i'm a little less certain and a lot of times an event has to happen. ari will remember this well. remember, the talk first went down and the stock market lost 71 point and they came back in and it went up. i'm beginning to sense -- obviously i don't notice, that something bad might have to happen in order to get this reconciled and both sides are digging in pretty hard here. >> boehner in "the wall street journal" the other day actually said this. i'll read it to you, ari. it wasn't until literally last week that the white house brought up replacing the sequester. they were always counting on us to bring this to the table. the sequester is as much leverage as we're going to get.
how big of a deal is this going to be? in other words, sequestration, the force, domestic spending cuts. they delayed it for two months but it will go into effect unless something is done. >> the sequester is the issue that republicans can use to their maximum advantage in order to make the decisions that need to be made, more so than the threat of default. default is too much of a threat. on the other hand, the problem is, if we keep raising the debt limit forever, we're acknowledging that the debt is so far out of control, there's nothing we can do about it, there's a debt without limits. the sequester, on the other hand, is more sensible. it allows republicans to say, we do have a spending problem. we need to do something about spending. let's not target only the pentagon and hospitals and doctors, which is what the sequester targets, but let's make smarter spending cuts to affect everybody from all walks of life, including corporate world and therefore we can do something to give our children a better future with less debt on
their shoulders. that's the smarter card for the republicans to play. >> let me switch to you, james, on the chuck hagel nomination to be the next defense secretary. there's been some quiet murmuring, some complaining among democrats, not unusual, i should say. you've heard it as well. why can't a democratic president ask a democrat to be defense secretary? they go back to the clinton administration when president clinton invited william cohen, a republican to be defense secretary. then the obama administration, president obama asked robert gates, a republican to be defense secretary. then there was leon panetta. and now another republican, chuck hagel. what's wrong with democrats being defense secretary? >> right. actually, just as an historical footnote, roberts used to be a republican. you know, i think that there's a sort of feeling that each one of
these can be justified. i think president clinton and cohen had a good relationship, as does president obama and senator hagel. in gates' instance, that made a lot of sense. so much was going on that you didn't want to have an immediate change in the defense. but that is true, that it looks like democrats always want to appoint republican secretaries of defense. also if you look at the history of the independent councils, they have almost all been republicans. and as a democrat i sometimes get frustrated, too. we can't find an independent council in our own party. i can understand the frustration but the president is entitled to pick who he wants and he thinks hagel is a good guy so it's good enough for me. >> and he can pick whoever he wants, you're absolutely right. i thought there was a good candidate, at least on my short list, jack reed, the democratic senator from rhode island. like hagel, a veteran himself, is somebody who knows a lot
about national security and military matters but the president decided to go with chuck hagel. now there will be a battle to be sure. guys, thank you very much for coming in. it was so recently the massive scene of change and hope and optimism but there's been a lot of change in egypt since the arab spring. more of my exclusive interview with mohamed morsi. we spent a lot of time in cairo together this weekend.
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i was in egypt this past weekend and spoke exclusively with the new president of egypt, mohamed more sea. at one point i visited cairo's tahrir square. i had been there two years ago. at that time, everyone in the huge square seemed to be full of euphoria, the arab spring had just toppled hosni mubarak. however, now it's dismal, dirty, and depressing and i raised the issue with president morsi. >> i was at tahrir square and it was pretty quiet.
>> yes, it is. but sometimes the media is exaggerating things. there's competition, also, with tourism in the world. this means it's to try to show as if security in egypt is wrecked, which is not correct. we don't have which is suffering. sometimes. not other times. but the rest of egypt, the rest of cairo is quiet and good. >> if you get this loan from the imf, that will help? kbl that helps. that helps. that doesn't solve the whole problem but it helps. >> what's the most important thing when you come to the united states you would like to hear from the u.s. government? >> the most important thing for me is to have real friendship between egyptians and americans. >> so what does that mean? >> what that means is mutual balance of relationships.
mutual benefits. now, i need to acknowledge -- i need expertise in different directions to help. i have resources. now, experience of the united states as far as planning, as far as implementing, as far as producing different directions, real production so there is things that i want to transfer from the united states to egypt. >> so you'll ask the president, the congress when you come to washington -- >> yeah. >> -- you'll ask for this kind of assistance? >> yeah, of course. also, egypt is very important to the united states. >> egypt is very important to the region. >> yes. >> as i said in our interview before, it's the most important country in the arab world. >> yes, it s so this important country should be helped. you should stand to the people's
side. >> i've heard rumors that you're thinking of expanding the suez canal. >> yes. >> is that true? >> not expanding the suez canal but improving. >> what do you want to do with the suez canal? >> i'm talking about investments along the suez canal. we have almost 200 kilometers and this can be an area where you can invest from outside and from the egyptians, also, can make real production area, industry. i want to have this area as a real advanced, developed area along the su zechlt canal. >> so you're looking for foreign investments? >> yes. >> from the u.s. -- >> from chin sna? >> yes, from china, from russia, from the arabs, from the egyptians, from outside of europe.
from -- well, you know, the real key entrance to africa is egypt. logistic help to investors to africa can start from egypt. we have the suez canal. we have the mediterranean sea, the nile river. we can go through with the people to africa, to sudan, to -- >> give me a thought about the arab spring in north africa and the middle east. because i came here right after mubarak was gone with hillary clinton, the secretary of state. and i remember we got up one morning and she without much security, we just walked around cairo. she walked into tahrir square. people were applauding her. it was a very optimistic moment right there. it was almost two years ago. but then all of a sudden things got gloomy. give me a thought about the arab spring. >> this is natural. this is normal when you move from an era from dictatorship,
from corruption, big corruption to a new position, to freedom, to democracy, to -- well, a case where you try to prevent, to stop, to block corruption. when people moving like this and they are in big numbers like in egypt and they have real daily needs and they need food and shelter everywhere and they want the freedom to be completed and they worry about what they have in the past and they are afraid from going back to that, i think this kind of activities, this kind of demonstrations, this kind of trying to resist to some extent any kind of feelings that we are probably go back to some extent all this -- i consider this situation as a normal situation and the people gaining
by time experience in how to transfer the feelings and to real production on the grounds. >> so you're optimistic? >> very much optimistic. >> how long is this going to take? >> well, i would say to start real stability and development, we may take six months or a year. to reach what we want, i think we may take five or ten years to reach 60 to 70% of what we want. >> so we have to be -- >> i'm talking about economics now. >> we have to be patient? >> yeah, of course. you're talking about egypt. you're talking about tens of years of corruption. you're talking about absence of freedom completely.
you're talking about fraudulent elections all the time. no democracy. no will of the people. everything was done and afrom the people. so when you change, it takes time. >> they even put you in jail. you spent a few months in jail. >> yeah, of course. >> how many months were you in jail? >> seven month or so. >> what was that like? >> bad. very bad. >> but -- >> i'm talking about freedom. you are not free. >> when you are in jail, you appreciate freedom when you're out of jail. so you appreciate freedom, having lived through that seven month -- >> do you think anyone in this world wouldn't appreciate freedom? >> some people have had it their life so they take it for grarnted. but you appreciate freedom. >> i think our grandchildren will take it for granted but we have been suffering together and then we move together to the new
position, freedom, democracy, good welfare. >> as i said, we're counting on you. >> well, let's help each other. >> thank you. >> as much as we can. >> thank you. >> good luck. >> much more on my conversation with the egyptian president. we go into all of the criticism he's now getting from so many people in egypt, including some prominent opposition leaders, noble prize winner. you'll hear what he's saying about the muslim grip on egypt. you have to remember, he spent seven years studying at the university of southern california. in the next hour, more of the interview coming up on how he sees egypt's relationship with israel unfolding. that's coming up in our next hour. a deadly bus crash in icy conditions. new information on the accident in oregon shows it wasn't the first time the bus company had
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it's about the depiction of torture to get information. chris lawrence is joining us from outside of the museum here in washington where the movie will premier. give us the background, chris. >> reporter: well, within senator john mccain was demanding to know about what role john brennan played in the enhanced interrogation program and why the timing of this premier couldn't be worse for the obama administration. >> not going to help you. we're going to break you. any questions? >> reporter: thousands of moviegoers could come away from "zero dark thirty" that terrorist gave up information that led to osama bin laden. the movie opens nationwide as
john brennan prepares for confirmation hearings on capitol hill. >> john brennan is the first person to be nominated head of cia who was at the agency at the time these techniques were being used. >> reporter: in 2008, human rights activists attacked brennan as a bush administration company man. in part because of what brennan said to cbs, that enhanced interrogation techniques produced valuable information. >> the agency has used against the real hard core terrorists. it has saved lives. >> reporter: now zero dark thirty is bringing that issue front and center before brennan's hearings. and ironically it was the obama administration that backed the movie, giving filmmakers incredible access to top military and cia officials. >> you really believe this story? osama bin laden? >> reporter: although filmmakers claim it's based on firsthand
accounts, the cia has issues with the movie. >> people being beaten and chained to the ceiling, that simply did not happen to the al qaeda detainees that were in al qaeda custody. >> reporter: he says unlike the film, interrogators did not question detainees during enhanced interrogation and only used the techniques in the first days or weeks of detention. >> once they became compliant, they never again received enhanced interrogation. >> reporter: when these techniques were being used in 2002 and 3, brennan had nothing to do with the program. in other words, brennan's role at the time had nothing to do with interrogation but he does support the techniques, as do other officials. they say the techniques led to breakthroughs but not the main bre bre
breakthrough, the one that led to osama bin laden. wolf? >> chris lawrence, thank you very much. t the. a deadly bus crash in oregon shows that the bus company had a history of safety violations. what can you testimony us? >> wolf, this is what we found after we filed the freedom of information request. the company was cited for 19 safety violations in two inspections. the department of transportation categorizes the violations as serious but not enough to shut the company down permanently. in happened at one of the worst possible places, on interstate 84 in oregon. a tour bus skidded on ice, smashed through a guardrail and tumbled down a steep embankment. nine passengers were killed and 38 injured. >> so many people were on the snow. >> i've been a firefighter for
20 years and this is the first time i've ever seen anything like this. this actually happened to be in an area where there was only about a 100-foot area where there was a steep embankment so they were pretty unfortunate crashing exactly where they did. >> reporter: the cause of the accident is still under investigation. but what if passengers wanted to check on the bus safety record? the department of transportation encourages the public to check its safe bus website before taking trips, saying, quote, don't risk your life by making an uninformed decision. when we looked at the records for mijoo tour and travel, the operator of the bus, we found the report card blank. the only indication of a problem is if you hover over a tiny icon. it indicates the company ha h a serious violation but click on it, no details. the company rereceived a satisfactory rating from the d.o.t. the cnn filed a freedom of information request to learn more.
travel and tour was cited 19 times in 2010 and 2011. among the violations, failure to implement driver alcohol and drug testing programs, to investigate background of drivers and to regularly inspect emergency windows, doors, and lights. the american bus association told cnn changes need to be made so consumers can easily access a company's safety records and the rating system should be more specific. the d.o.t. released a statement this afternoon saying, in part, our safety information emphasizes recent violations over those in years past to provide the public with the most timely information. however, more than a week after the oregon accident, it is still not reflected on the d.o.t. website. d.o.t. did say that it did shut down the company for two month when they failed to pay a fine. mijoo tour and travel, wolf, have seized operations but they hope to reopen next week.
a lottery winner's sudden death may be more than a tragic coincidence. he may have been poisoned. mary know is joining us more with the latest mystery. explain what is going on, mary. >> wolf, if if it hadn't been a tip from to the medical examiner's office, this may never have come to light. the medical examiner is working to exhume the body of a winner of the lottery back in june. it was supposed to have been the start of better times for 46-year-old urooj khan for his wife and daughter. he won a $1 million jackpot in chicago and hoped to pay off his had bills, invest in his drycleaning business and donate money to st. jude's research hospital. >> he was speechless and just like running around and not knowing what to do, jaking hands. >> reporter: in july, just as his one-time payment of $424,000
was mailed out, khan died suddenly. that evening, he had gone home, ate dinner, and went to bed. according to a police document obtained by the chicago tribune. it reports his family heard him screaming, took him to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. at that time, his death was determined to be from natural causes a few days later the medical examiner says a relative of khan called to suggest there may be more to the story. more tests were done and sign need was found in his blood. >> once we found that it was qualatatively present, clearly that raises flags because it shouldn't be raised at all. once that was in the mix, i wasn't that surprised that eventually we had a lethal level. it doesn't take all that much cyanide to kill a person. >> reporter: and now chicago police are investigating it as a murder. >> if you're going to try to commit the perfect murder, this is a good way to do it. >> reporter: lawrence is a
professor of forensic science. cyanide is not easily detected on drug skreengs and a small amount can kill someone. >> it's usually kept under lock and key. again, if you work in the photographic industry, if you worked in a metal processing plant, or you worked in a plant with -- where they work with insecticides, those are places you would find cyanide. >> reporter: soits not all that difficult to obtain? >> it's not that difficult. if somebody wants to get it, they can get it. >> the only thing the chicago police would say on record is they are investigating khan's death as a murder and working closely with the medical examiner. as for the lottery check that had been mailed out, an official with the illinois lottery says records show that the check was cashed several weeks after khan's death. wolf? >> mary snow, thanks very much.
and you're in "the situation room." happening right now, tens and thousands of lives potentially at risk in what could be the worst flu season here in the united states in years. a leading doctor tells me, though, it's not too late to protect yourself. plus, aig says thank you, america, for $182 billion in bailout money but could be ready to take the government to court. stand by. and can the most important country in the arab world help broker peace in the middle east? more of my exclusive far-reaching interview with the egyptian president mohamed morsi this hour. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." a growing and deadly flu
outbreak gripping much of the country right now, potentially putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in what could be the worst flu season in the united states in many years. you're about to hear what a leading doctor at the national institutes of health told me about what we all could be facing but, first, hospitals are being forced to take extreme measures right now to accommodate all of the patients. some emergency rooms have already had to turn away people. here's jessica from cnn affiliate wls. >> reporter: at hospital emergency rooms across the city, the scene has been the same during the past few weeks. dozens of patients going to hospitals looking for relief from the flu. >> we're seeing probably between the adults and children, 70 patients a day. >> reporter: the number of flu sufferers have overwhelmed the
medical staff at some hospitals. for several hours last night, eight local hospitals were all on bypass. that means ambulances with sick patients were urged to take them to another facility if safely possible. >> in pennsylvania, one e.r. had to set up a tent to handle the scores of patients coming in. here is this part of the story. >> reporter: if you've been sneezing and sick, you're not alone. >> right now we are in the midst of an extremely busy flu season. >> reporter: so busy that lihi valley hospital is opening up this portable emergency room. some reported up to seven hours of waits. >> now we're being brutally reminded of how influenza can be. >> joining us is the director of national institute of allergy and infectious diseases at the
national institutes of health. doctor, thanks very much. as you know, there's a lot of concern right now about this flu that's going around. i'm going to put a map up on the screen. you can see in the red there it's widespread and almost the entire country right now. why is it so bad this year? >> well, you can never predict or tell why it's bad one here to another. one of the things about flew, unfortunately, is that influenza, the only thing that you can predict is that it's unpredictable. we had a very light season last year. this year, there are a couple of ominous signs t it clicked up early towards the end of november, beginning of december and it went up on a pretty steep trajectory. the last time we saw that happen that way was the flu season of 2003 and 2004, which turned out to be a bad flu season. and also the kind of flu that's circulating is what we call h3n2 is associated with more serious
types of disease than with the flu. that's the bad news. the good news is that the flu that's circulating matches pretty well, in fact very, very well to the vaccine that is being administrated across the country. >> is this working? >> you can't tell if it's working at this point in the season. but when you have a good match where the strains that are used in the vaccine match very well to the circulating strain, you get a good degree of protection. it mare vees among age groups and individuals but for the most part the protection is quite good. >> what should people be looking for right now? a lot of folks are worried. >> well, what they should be looking for is to try and avoid, for example, individuals who are sneezing and coughing. if you yourself get sick, the things that we've spoken about over the years, personal
hygiene, cough into the part of your crease by the elbow. also importantly, get vaccinated. it's not too late, wolf, to get vaccinated. you usually like to see folks get vaccinated in the early to mid-fall. even though we're in february right now -- in january, excuse me, we should absolutely tell people it's not too late to get vaccinated. >> this could also be -- and you've pointed out to us over the years, a killer. a lot of people will die, especially older people, people whose immunes systems may not be great as a result of this flu? any estimate how many people could die as a result of this? >> well, if you look historically at seasonal flus that we've had, it's gone from very light to up to 49,000 people die. it's an average of 200 hospitalizations and a lot of economic burden. so the range of people that will die are individuals really can
be from a few thousand to way up. the fact that we're having what looks like the -- a pretty bad beginning of the season can turn out to be a full season and the fact that we're dealing with h 3 n 2 means we should be concerned and make sure that we can do everything that we possibly can. the way to prevent it is the personal hygiene measures but also getting vaccinated. if you do get the flu and physicians know this and should know this, if somebody gets hospitalized or has serious flu or is in one of the high-risk groups like a pregnant individual, pregnant woman, a young child or an elderly individual over 65 or someone with a chronic condition, they should be treated with the anti-flu medicines, like tamaflu and we know that this influenza is sensitive to the anti-flu medications that we have. >> dr. fauci, thank you so much for joining us.
save that company? >> it was like mob war. people were so angry saying, let aig falter. i remember explaining that you couldn't get it falter because it would bring down the planetary financial system. you're right. they are right. we lent them $182 billion. i say we. taxpayers lent the money and made a $22 million profit. but a group of shareholders, including the guy who built aig into the powerhouse it was, hank greenberg, said the terms of the loan was too harsh. the government took 92% control of the company, they charged them an interest rate, it got paid off and everyone is happy now. and they are suing. the board is being faced with the idea that the shareholders have this lawsuit and they have a responsibility to the shareholders to see with whether they should join the lawsuit. i think it's unlikely that they will do so but it is right out of the, you can't make this
stuff up bin. >> walk us through -- you know, why are they even considering joining this lawsuit? i can understand private individuals suing the u.s. government. if they want to do so, that's their right. but after what aig was saved by the federal government, why would they even be considering it? why not issue an statement immediately saying, thank you american people, we're grateful for -- >> right. this is ridiculous. >> the american packs taiers, be american treasury made a profit but certainly we're not going to sue you after you saved us. >> part of me thinks why doesn't the company put out a statement like that and get this over with. but part of it is the company has what is is called a fiduciary responsibility to do the right thing by shareholders so they have to consider whether they are going to join the lawsuit otherwise the executive themselves, the board might get sued. the stages that the company is looking at this lawsuit. the lawsuit -- i'm not a lawyer but it's not nothing. i mean, they asked for 16
million pages that looked at the communication between the treasury department and aig going back to 2005. in the course of the hearings it got down to 10 million pages. i think they are trying to find out were the terms of the loans onerous. again, for most thinking people, for those who pay taxes, this is just weird that you're looking into this because this company could have become nothing but the problem is it could have taken the world down with it which is why we did not let aig fail. it was the right decision to make. there's a real case here that could go forward. i don't think it's likely. most experts have said it's not likely. the executive and the board will support it. but it's real. >> we'll know tomorrow. is that right? >> yeah, tomorrow is when we'll find out. >> ali, thanks very much. a suspect in connection with the deadly benghazi attack now a free man. we have details of this controversial release. brian todd is standing by. plus, guns making a somewhat
surprising appearance in president obama's historic health care legislation known as obama care. so what can it say about the influence of the nra? protect yoh as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin totally dedicated to your eyes, from the eye care experts at bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients. ocuvite helps replenish key eye nutrients. ocuvite has a unique formula not found in your multivitamin to help protect your eye health. now that's a pill worth taking. [ male announcer ] ocuvite. help protect your eye health.
a suspect in the deadly attack in benghazi has now been freed from custody and no other known suspects being held in connection with the attack. let's bring in brian todd. he's got the details. what are they, brian? >> the suspect has been held by authorities in tunisia. this is clearly a major setback in the benghazi investigation. he was held for three months, a
suspect in connection with the benghazi attack that killed the u.s. ambassador to libya and three others. now ali ani al harzi is a free man. harzi has been released from custody there. congressman frank wolf, influential in the release of foreign aid, has been keeping track of the harzi case for months. >> your response to this? >> i'm disappointed. one, he was involved in the attack of the american consulate in benghazi. he was there. so he's really partially responsible for the death of four americans. secondly, we gave the tunisian government millions in foreign aid. if the safety department doesn't cut it off, i will ask them to do that. here they release a guy that is walking the streets of tunisia. >> reporter: wolf complainted
that the 236789 bi had for months been denied access to harzi. the fbi questioned him last month. we asked a former fbi agent tom fuentes whether that affect ts the investigation. >> a judge in another country is not the same as a judge in the united states. judges here are not involved in the investigation. >> reporter: fuentes says the fact that the fbi agents were allowed to ask questions is more than they often get. some say harzi was freed because of a lack of evidence. we've pressed authorities here in tunis and washington. we've asked for a cut off of aid to tunisia. we've gotten no response. american investigators were made aware of harzi because he posted details of the benghazi attack on social media while it was happening. but a u.s. law enforcement official with direct knowledge to the investigation says ali's
harzi does not appear on the video from the compound. he denies that he was involved but his release means there are no suspect ts known to be in custody with the connection. will americans ever see justice for benghazi? >> it's a very difficult order in a case like this where there was so much chaos surrounding the actual attack itself, the nature of the attack, the nature of the people that conducted the attack and the fact that it was conducted in a place that really didn't have and still does not have a strong investigative partner for the fbi to work with. >> reporter: but our law enforcement source says investigators have identified at least 15 individuals that, quote, we're taking a serious look at. that's from our source. our source says ultimately people will be indicted, wolf. waiting on that. >> but what about these reports, one individual was taken into custody in egypt. >> that's right.
there was one person. u.s. officials believe he's part of a terror network in egypt trying to align with al qaeda. he was detained last month by egyptian authorities. they say he admitted that he traveled to libya several times during the civil war but has denied any connection to the benghazi attacks. so right now nobody in custody that we know for sure was involved in that attack. frustrating for u.s. officials. >> so is he still being held? >> not clear whether he's still being held. right now it looks like there's nobody in custody that we're sure was involved at least as a suspect in that attack and it's very frustrating. >> a lot of work to bring those folks to justice. brian, thanks very much. lawmakers here in washington want to hear from the secretary of state hillary clinton as soon as possible about the benghazi attack. we're just learning she will now testify on capitol hill the week of january 21st. her testimony had to be rescheduled after her bout with a stomach virus, a concussion,
and later a blood clot in her head. let's bring in elise labott. >> wolf, it will be the week of january 21st. president obama's inauguration is on the 20th. it may not be exactly the same day after the inauguration. the committee staffers on the senate foreign relayings committee are aware of the optics here. they don't know if they want to have the benghazi hearing the day after the inauguration. it might slip a day. it does hold up the confirmation for kerry to replace her. >> we were all happy to see her back to work. she's working once again today. what are you hearing? >> she's apparently back at work. full schedule. she met today over lunch with national security adviser tom donlan and leon panetta. aides say that she's back, on
top of her brief asking a lot of questions indicating that she was doing a little bit of work while she was home resting but she also made clear to her staff that she wants all of those recommendations on that independent panel implemented or on the way to being implemented before she testifies before congress. >> senator lindsey graham of south carolina says he's not going to vote to confirm john brennan until he gets more answers, answers from hillary clinton, from others at the cia, from the white house presumably. what are you hearing about this? >> well, senator graham is saying it has nothing to do with john brennan per se. what it does is centers around these questions around these talking points that a u.s. ambassador to the u.n. susan rice did in those sunday talk shows. there was this deleted reference to al qaeda involvement which was in the classified version. it was taken out when used by ambassador rice and senator graham has questions about who changed that. the intelligence committee has spoken to this. they said that they changed it and more specifically that the
cia changed those talking points but senator graham is not satisfied. he says he has more questions before john brennan is confirmed and while he's not on the senate's committee on intelligence, he could hold up the nomination. >> and we're going to be speaking in the next hour to senator john mccain. he still has a lot of serious questions about benghazi as well. thanks very much. the boeing 787 is called the boeing dreamliner but why it's not so dreamy. why one flight was canceled today just as it was about to take off. hmmm. uh... yeah, can you find a take where it's a bit more dramatic on that last line, yeah? yeah i got it right here. someone help me!!! i have a flat tire!!! well it's good... good for me. what do you think? geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
napalm, trip wires and more frightening details about the alleged gunman in the colorado movie theater shooting. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other stories. >> wolf, prosecutors today detailed the way the alleged shooter, james holmes, booby-trapped his apartment with napalm. there was a trip wire attached to glis rin ready to cse a
fire from carpets soaked in gas. in one call you can hear at least 30 gunshots in just 27 seconds. in other news, bow's new 787 dream liner is dealing with another incident at boston logan's airport a day after a fire broke out, today another flight was canceled after crews discovered a fuel leak. 49 boeing 787s have been delivered to airlines so far with 800 still on order. experts say new planes are going to have, quote, teething problems. and it is a official. last year is the hottest year on record for the continental united states and boy did it take its toll. the u.s. government says the average temperature in 2012 was 55.3 degrees farenheit, more than 3 degrees warmer than the average for the 20th century. 11 weather disasters carried a billion dollar price tag including a lingering drought.
a giant sea creature was caught on tape. this giant squid was about ten feet long but it would have been longer if two of its arms weren't missing. these are incredible pictures. scientists and tv broadcasters went down in a submarine to its natural habitat sometimes at depths of nearly 3,000 feet. and i don't know about you, but i am pretty actually excited about this. my son loves animals. first time ever caught on tape, which is something else, the eyeballs are like the size of a ball. >> i'm scared. going to have nightmares tonight because of those eyeballs and giant squid. your son might like the giant squid, but not me. go away. thanks, lisa. >> thanks, wolf. coming up, more of my exclusive interview with egypt's president mohamed morsi. you're going to hear what he says of must happen before
there's real peace. also coming up, how the nra made its mark on obama care and how that might change conversations you have with your doctor. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance.
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these savings end soon. i'm glad we had adt. [ male announcer ] adt. always there. snoo former representative gabrielle giffords and her husband mark kelly are entering the political battle over gun rights. the couple now launching a political action committee with one focus, counter the funds and the influence of the gun lobby. the move comes exactly two years after a gunman changed their lives forever killing six people, injuring giffords and 12 others as she met with constituents in tucson. last wook they visited another
city to become the scene of a mass shooting. >> we saw you in newtown. how was newtown? >> tough. >> it brought back a lot of memories about what that was like for us some two years ago today. and you hope that this kind of thing doesn't happen again. i have a gun. gabby and i are both gun owners. we are strong supporters of the second amendment but we've got to do something to keep the guns from getting into the wrong hands. >> in an op-ed, they write, special interests purporting to represent gun owners but really advancing the interests of the ideological fringe have used big money and business to cow congress into submission. the couple is calling for laws that requires responsible gun ownership and reduce gun violence. one surprising piece of legislation is showing the gun lobby's influence, the affordable care act. yes, the affordable care act.
using language pushed by the national rifle association, it bans all doctors from collecting data from patients on if they own a gun, if they use guns or ammunition or keep them in their homes. and joining us now, dr. sanjay gupta, our chief medical correspondent. sanjay, how did guns end up in obama care? that seems so strange. >> wolf, as you pointed out, the nra has been lobbying for this for quite some time and they are public about this. it's not a secret. it was senator harry reid who actually got this small provision, really only five lines that got it into the affordable care act. and i should point out, it doesn't specifically forbid doctors from asking patients about guns but it's more about them being able to document it, being able to use this for
research purposes, and for research into gun safety. now, folks in the nra will say, look, we don't want patients to be discriminated against because they own a gun. we don't want their insurance premiums to be higher, things like that. there's no history of that ever happening but there's sort of their argument. people who want these conversations to happen and be able to be documented between patient and physician says this is how we make things more safe. so this is sort of the friction back and forth over this very small five-line provision, wolf. >> it's a very sensitive provision, though. some states are trying to make it a crime to ask questions about this. >> yeah, it's really interesting. in florida as well as seven other states, very fascinating what is happening. florida, for example, the governor specifically wanted the idea of a physician being able to ask the patient about guns to be illegal, to be forbidden. that was subsequently overturned by a federal judge and now it's on appeal again. again, not just florida but
seven other states. it would stop the conversation from ever happening. and that's a step further even than what we're talking about in this provision in the affordable care act. >> as you know, there are doctors all over the country and they are strongly concern that guns should be a factor, a public health factor out there and they want this to be known, if you will. so what is is their basic bottom line as far as guns and public health is concerned? >> i'll tell you, i've been digging into this a bit. i'll tell you what it's not. at least from an organized medical level. it's not about getting rid of guns. sort of the best example would be like kenning it more to swimming pools. they may ask you if you have a swimming pool, may talk about safety, may suggest classes for that sort of thing. it's not really about getting rid of guns but looking at the
data that you can collect and see if guns can be made more safe and increase the safety, especially among kids. there's some numbers which people may have heard about, you know, this comes from the centers of disease control, looking at a number of deaths, 2008, 2009. look there. 5740 children and teens were killed and a lot more injured. nearly 35,000, 34,387. bottom line, guns are the leading cause of death for ages 5 to 14. doctors come down on this, much as you would ask about smoke detectors, swimming pools, a lot of doctors want guns to be part of the conversation and also to be able to use that to develop more gun safety studies, wolf. >> as prevention tips. is that what the bottom line is? >> as prevention tips. you can find out certain things that may be surprising. for example, with swimming pools, it may not be picnics and birthday parties but rather mornings and evenings. things emerge from research like this and the same thing about guns. that's what people in organized
medicine are talking about, wolf. >> sanjay gupta, thanks for that excellent, excellent explanation. >> you've got it, wolf. thank you. can the most important country in the arab world help broker peace between the israelis and palestinians? stand by for more of my exclusive interview with mohamed morsi? we met in cairo.
i've just returned to washington from an extraordinary weekend visit to egypt. the most important country in the arab world broiled in controversy over its new democracy. i spoke with the egyptian president mohamed morsi at his presidential palace in cairo. among the issues we discussed, egypt's critically important relationship with israel. israel came very close to a full-scale war weeks ago when its fight with hamas. >> translator: i want peace for
egypt, for the egyptian people, for the pal still generals. >> it was an extremely tense time in the region and i was there when a truce agreement was reached. happening now, historical moments in the middle east. new islamist government announce a major deal between israel and hamas. president morsi's role in the truce negotiations earned him praise from president obama. secretary of state hillary clinton and israeli leaders. >> and he's been doing a good job, you believe? >> i think he's doing a responsible job from his point of view. i don't think he's acting for is heart is somewhere else but his behavior is spoonable and because responsibility is needed for everybody, not only for us and for them. now morsi wants to help for a
long-term peace. >> do you believe that a two-state solution that will allow israel and palestine to live side by side? >> translator: the palestinians have the full right without any interference from anyone to get whatever they want for themselves and now i'm looking forward and i'm working on achieving reconciliation between the palestinians, between fatah and the others and hamas. and it is they who will decide. i support them in what they decide. they are -- they have the right. they own the right. it's only they who have the right to decide on their destiny and, by the way, this is stated in the peace treaty, the palestinians decide on what they want. i'll respect their decisions morsi has agreed to meet in cairo this week. a critical issue up for
discussion can, does israel have a right to exist? >> translator: the truth is, i have already answered this question before this many times. israel is a u.n. member so the question seems strange because the party who needs a place and state are the palestinians. i'm not discussing the bias of one party against the other but i am talking about the real situation that exists now. israel is a member of the u.n., the ones who need a state and to have an entity and for this state to be a full-fledged member of the u.n. are the palestinians. so that's why i'm talking about reconciliation among palestinians. it is not possible to achieve peace and stability unless it is for everyone involved. so if the palestinians continue suffering, if the palestinians continue suffering from attacks, if the palestinians remain without a state, if the palestinians remain without a full acknowledgement from the whole world that they have full rights, this means peace will not be complete in the middle east and the world. what do we want for this world? we came with a message of peace. we want peace. but we want real peace.
and a peace treaty. it's stated at the beginning of it, that peace should be comprehensive and just and this matter is known and it must happen. and it has not come true yet. we want a comprehensive and just peace for this world. >> i've covered the middle east for decades. i was cnn's senior can correspondent during president clinton's peace summit with israeli prime minister and yasser arafat back in 1993. they have found that face-to-face talks can certainly make a huge difference. under what circumstances would you be willing to meet face-to-face with the israel president or the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. >> translator: when palestinians take their full-fledged rights and they see that there is no palestinian bloodshed and the
palestinian rights are not wasted and they have one government and that it is stable and it has free will, land, and borders, the whole world should realize that there can never be peace without having peace for all and without having all rights for the palestinians, full rights, according to their own bill. this is something that the whole world should realize. i cannot move forward and it is not possible for me to move forward outside the will of the egyptian people. the egyptian people can see, listen, and live and feel and understand and they do see the palestinians as their brothers. they can see their sufferings, et cetera. this matter requires long standing effort and the will of the egyptian people. can i not work outside the will of the egyptian people. the public opinion in egypt now sees that the palestinians are marginalized and gaza is still
destroyed. they don't have freedom of movement. they don't have a central bank or armed forces or a capital. they suffer a lot every day. when the palestinians get their full rights, then we can look towards the egyptian people and see what we want their president to do and then the president will act on the will of the people and not alone. >> in other words, if there's such a meeting, it will have to wait until there's an agreement between the israelis and the palestinians? gli believe the agreemequestion in its place now. i see that this is not the place for this question now. i respect the peace treaty. i'm keen on respecting what egypt has signed as a state previously. at the international level. i respect the will of the world but this does not conflict at all with my support for the palestinians and their full-fledged rights and that they attain them. when this happens, the egyptians are going to express their
views. >> i saw that again on the day when the current truce was reached. it's a cease fire that's supposed toned eight days of terror and bloodshed on both sides of the israeli gauze za border but the hours leading up to the big announcement are marred by violence, including a bus bombing that injured nearly two dozen people right in the heart of tel-aviv. it survived all these years and morsi insists le continue to honor it. >> for about 30 years the united states has had about 700 american soldiers as part of a multinational peacekeeping force. do you want those troops to
remain? >> egypt is a large and old country. a number of the united nations and before that the league of nations. as a state and as an institution, egypt knows the meaning of international organizations and respecting agreements and treaties of international laws. we have ambassadors in almost all countries of the world. we respect and appreciate national institutions and the international law. and we cooperate with it. we develop and move forward and we want the world to cooperate with us also. therefore, we appreciate those treaties. we respect them. we retain them. there's no room for talking about anything against them as long as we're all committed to the content of the agreements. all the parties that sign any agreement or treaty are committed to them. every party involved needs to confront itself and be honest with itself. but we respect all of the agreements that egypt signed previously and egypt is moving forward with the international committee and we respect the
international committee and the will of the international committee. >> we're going to have much more on the interview with the egyptian president tomorrow in "the situation room" and we're going to go more into what is going on as far as the democracy movement in egypt. the grip on power of the opposition, how much freedom will they actually have. much more of the interview coming up. also, i'm going to take you behind the scenes in tahrir square. what's going on is the symbol of the revolution. i'll tell you that and more in "the situation room" tomorrow. we're seeing more and more hybrid cars, electric cars on the road as well. but are they -- but are you hearing them? up next, what you need to know about the changes one government agency is now proposing. of warning lights t and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see,
they don't take a lot of gasoline, they are good for the environment and pretty quiet out there on the road. but now the transportation department is saying some electric and hybrid cars are simply too quiet to be safe. renee is working the story for us. what are they proposing to do about this? >> well, they are asking that these vehicles have these vehic
technology placed inside of it, so that people can know that, hey, this vehicle is coming my way. the concern is that these cars are awfully quiet and pedestrians are possibly going to be injured, because they don't know that this vehicle is on its way, wolf. they're green, fuel efficient, but too quiet, and a potential threat to cyclists and pedestrians. that's what the department of transportation says about hybrid and electric cars. the federal agency just proposed rules that would require new, green vehicles make sounds, loud enough to alert pedestrians and cyclists, like george abbott. >> i have experience going alongside them and not realizing that there was one there. >> reporter: it's what's under the hood that makes these hybrid and electric cars so quiet on the road. this nissan leaf already has technology similar to what the government wants in all electric and hybrid cars. do you hear that sound?
well, the government believes that it could save lives. eddie george sells the vehicles in maryland. >> the car is very quiet. you cannot hear anything. so you have some people, when they're coming to test drive the car, is the car on? >> reporter: but a flip of a switch, and its pedestrian alert feature turns on. without the feature, a much quieter drive. >> i think that would help, but i think, you know, i think people just need to pay more attention. >> reporter: d.o.t. says the sounds would need to be loud enough to still be heard, despite other street and ambient noises when the vehicle is traveling under 18 miles per hour. the national highway traffic safety administration estimates the proposal would mean 2,800 fewer pedestrian and cyclist injuries per year. >> all right. well, each company can actually pick the particular sound that they want their car to make. for example, the vehicle we looked at today, the nissan
leaf, the technology was developed with the help of students from some of the country's schools for hearing impaired. so they helped them out in trying to get that technology together, so they can pick just the right sound for folks as they're trying to cross those streets. >> so when they add a little sound, how loud is that car going to be? >> don't expect a blaring sound to come from any of these green vehicles. actually, it was a lot louder in our piece than it actually is, only because our mics were picking up the sound there. but do expect a softer, a more subtle sound, but still something that is recognizable, that, hey, a vehicle is on its way. wolf? >> rene, thanks very much. >> sure. he's the executive chairman of a company you might use every day, but what is one of google's top leaders doing in one of the most reclusive nations on earth. stand by. pack your bags, we'll leave tonight. uhh, it's next month, actually... eddie continues singing: to tickets to... paradiiiiiise! no four. remember?
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots. in australia, swimmers rise early for their exercise, to beet the record heat. in sri lanka, mourners light candles to remember a slain journalist. in lebanon, a man rides his motor bike through the snow. and in afghanistan, a herder walks his sheep on a cold day. hot shots, picturing coming in from around the world.
the state department isn't very happy about it, but the google chairman eric schmidt and the former new mexico governor, bill richardson, are inside north korea right now. our foreign affairs correspondent, jill dougherty, is monitoring the trip for us. jill, when i traveled to pyongyang myself two years ago, with bill richardson, we were, obviously, watched very closely by the north korean government. what do we know about this trip so far? >> you know, wolf, i think you could call it a mystery tour. because, actually, there's very little known to one of the most cutoff countries in the world. one of the first stops in north korea for google executive eric schmidt, a rare sight in one of the most isolated countries on earth, the computer lab at kim il-sung university. so why is the head of the world's largest search engine visiting a country where average citizens are forbidden to have access to the internet. schmidt is in pyongyang with former new mexico governor bill
richardson. the official north korean news agency calls it a visit by a delegation of the google corporation. before leaving the u.s., richardson told cnn's wolf blitzer that schmidt is going as a private citizen, not a google representative. >> we're going to look at the human situation in north korea, the poorest nation in the world. >> reporter: richardson also hopes to win the release of a tour guide being held by the north. but the obama administration is not happy with the trip, just weeks after provocative and successful rocket launch by the north koreans. >> we are not accompanying them, we are not sending any messages with them. >> reporter: two years ago, a north korean delegation visited google headquarters in mountain view, california. and aspects of this four-day visit leave korea expert victor cha to say google's head could be trying to encourage a more open north korea. >> they have an iron grip on
information and to the extent that you can loosen that up, with a trip, for example, by eric schmidt of google, that's the first step that you can make in terms of trying to start to pierce the information bubble in north korea. >> reporter: the trip falls on the 30th birthday of north korea's young leader, kim i don't think jong-un. he talked about a revolution for the north, but that revolution right now says korea expert, john park, is mostly focused on using technology as a way to generate revenue for kim jong-un regime. >> this breakthrough and connection with the internet, as we know it on the international community stage, i think is quite far in the distance. >> we did ask google for a comment. a spokeswoman saying, we don't comment on eric schmidt's private travel. wolf? >> tell us, jill, a little bit more about the state
department's concerns about the timing of the visit. >> one of the problems is, as we mentioned, remember, just a few weeks ago, the north launched a missile and that was very provocative. in fact, at this very moment, the unites is trying to figure out what it should do in response. so the state department says this comes at a very bad time. it's like giving them a gift at the moment when they have done something that the world community thinks is bad. and also, when you get into that american being held, the united states and the state department is working behind the scenes to try to get him freed and that's another, although it would be wonderful if he were freed with, the state department, at this time, it's a delicate time and they're trying to do what they can. that's what they say. >> in our next hour, we'll speak a little bit about this trip with senator john mccain, who is also not very happy that bill richardson went to north korea. stand by for that. jill daugherty, thanks very much.
happening now, gabrielle giffords takes on the nra. also, a fire, a fuel leak, and new concerns about a boeing dreamliner. will congress push us to the brink? i'll ask john mccain. and a lottery winner poisoned with sigh nycyanide. and the terrifying end to a hot air balloon ride this wedding party will never forget. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." the push for new gun laws in the wake of the connecticut school shooting has a powerful new voice, the congresswoman gabriel giffords. she was gravely wounded in a mass shooting exactly two years ago today. lisa sylvester is here with more on what's going on. >> leaders from both the private and public sectors are starting to offer specific proposals on gun controls. both sides aware of how sense y sensitive this issue has become.
and the leading voice comes from someone with political and personal experience that is sure to command attention here in washington. on the two-year anniversary of the tucson shooting and a week after a visiting to newtown, gabby giffords wants to send a wake-up call to washington when it comes to gun violence. >> when it can happen to children in a classroom, it's time to say -- >> enough. >> reporter: giffords and her husband, mark kelly, have launched americans for responsible solutions, a group that will raise money and lobby lawmakers on gun legislation, a sort of counter to the national rifle association. in "usa today," the couple wrote, "we saw from the nra leadership's defiant and unsympathetic response to the newtown connecticut massacre that winning even the most common sense reforms will require a fight. but they are trying to navigate a political advance. kelly explains why in an interview with abc. >> i have a gun. gabby and i are both gun owners. we are strong supporters of the second amendment.
but we've got to do something to keep the guns from getting into the wrong hands. >> reporter: gun owners are a powerful, organized group the white house wanted to reach as well. the working group led by vice president joe biden will talk to a number of gun rights advocates thursday. >> we look forward to hearing from a variety of organizations and civic groups and others who have insights into this problem. >> both the nra and the national shooting sports foundation, the two largest groups in the country, confirm to cnn that they would attend. but until the biden task force makes their recommendations at the end of january, there will be a policy and public relations battle with the white house getting the backing of new york mayor, michael bloomberg. >> i think what we've got to do first is try to do everything that we can to help joe biden. >> reporter: his group, mayors against illegal guns, launched their own campaign, demanding action on capitol hill. >> my 9-year-old daughter was murdered in the tucson shooting. i have one question for our political leaders. when will you find the courage
to stand up to the gun lobby? >> and these ads are just the beginning of what promises to be an intense few weeks of political outreach. in anticipation of specifics from the white house, but already the rhetoric is heated and it's quite emotional, wolf. >> not every day the obama white house invites somebody from the nra to come over, participate in a meeting. >> we are told james baker will be representing the nra. he's been with the nra leadership roles off and on through the 1980s. a high-level campaign volunteer to senator mccain during his 2008 failed bid for the presidency. and the baker we are talking about, of course, is not the former secretary of state. just to clarify that. >> but it's a common name. >> that's right, wolf. >> lisa, thanks very much. kate balduan's got more with what's going on with guns in the country. what are you seeing there, kate? >> in colorado, emotional testimony and a chilling description of the elaborate booby trap laid out by accused theater gunman, james holmes.
we remember this story so well. new details merged at his preliminary hearing today about how he rigged his apartment to create a massive explosion, that would have left even more people dead in aurora. cnn's ed lavendera is in centennial, colorado, for us. ed, the details are absolutely chilling. what's the latest you're picking up? >> kate, remember, what they're trying to do in this preliminary hearing is late out the evidence against james holmes, but also show this isn't the actions of someone who just snapped one day and decided to go kill people in a movie theater, but to also prove that this was a well thought out and well planned attack. >> a shooting at century theater. they're saying somebody is shooting in the auditorium. >> reporter: the first 911 call came from inside theater 9, just 18 minutes after the start of "the dark knight rises." the call lasted just 27 seconds. the caller's words drowned out by the sundays of constant boom,
boom boom. 30 gunshots could be heard in that one call alone. six minutes later, the shots have stopped. a teenage relative of 6-year-old veronica mozer sullivan calls 911. in tears, the girl struggles to explain how veronica can't breathe. the dispatcher tells her to start cpr and the girl can only respond, i can't hear you, it's too loud, i'm sorry. veronica would be the youngest victim to die in the theater that night. it's an excruciating four-minute phone call, and it left many watching james holmes preliminary hearing in tears. the family members of some of the victims wish james holmes would simply plead guilty. >> what i would really like to see, honestly, i would like to see them throw him in a room with a toilet and nothing else, a window that he can at least see that the day is passing, and that's it. no bed, nothing. and let him just sit with his thoughts. >> reporter: even more stunning was the most descriptive explanation yet of the explosive
booby trap james holmes left in his apartment. according to an fbi bomb technician, holmes mixed and created the explosive chemicals himself, including explosive powders and live ammunition and homemade napalm and thermite. he then saturated his carpet in gasoline and oil and rigged an elaborate bomb to explode. according to an fbi bomb technician that spoke with james holmes, holmes told him he had taken a boom box and a remote control and placed nit a white trash bag just outside his apartment in a dumpster. in that boom box was a cd he had made. the first 45 minutes, silent, and then timed out to play really loud music, and he was hoping that someone would come over to that trash bag, see the remote control car, and then start playing with it. except that remote control was
triggered to set off a pyrotechnic device inside the apartment, and that would trigger a much larger explosion. >> reporter: investigators found the boom box, but never found the remote control device. according to the fbi bomb technician, james thoems planned to have his apartment explode to distract and overwhelm first responders, and he would walk into the theater just a few miles away and start shooting. it's the kind of elaborate, diabolical plot that always seems to work for the villains in a batman movie, but in real life, this part of the diabolical plan didn't work. james holmes' attorneys have focused a lot of their questioning on james holmes' demeanor once he had been taken into custody. and one of the aurora police detective, the lead detective on the case, talked about how when holmes was brought to police headquarters for questioning, they put paper bags over his hand to preserve any evidence that might be on his fingertips, and that at one point, holmes started after his hands talking back and forth to each other, as
if those paper bags were puppets. and he also tried to remove a staple from a table and put it into an electrical socket. those are the kind of things that defense attorneys are focusing on, but there are many victims' families and relatives and survivors around here who will tell you that they believe that james holmes is simply putting on an act. kate? >> it's amazing when you lay out what they say. everything he had set up and what a horrifying plot it was, ed. thank you so much. we'll definitely check back in with you as the days continue. can you believe how elaborate the plot was, wolf, and how much worse it could be. >> the gruesome details, horrible. the whole debate, the heated debate over gun control has certainly boiled over on cnn's "piers morgan tonight." piers called for a ban on assault weapons in the wake of the newtown connecticut school massacre, and in response, radio host alex jones started petition on the white house website to have piers deported from the united states. take a look at this heated
exchange that's now going viral. >> i have fbi crime statistics that come out a year late, 2011. 20 plus percent crime drop in the last nine years, real violent crime, because more guns means less crime. britain took the guns 15, 16 years ago, tripling of your overall violent crime. true, we have a higher gun violence level, but overall, mugging, stabbings, death -- those men raped that woman in india to death with an iron rod four feet long. you can't ban the iron rods. the guns, the iron rods, piers, didn't do it. the tyrants did it. hitler took the guns wi, fidel castro took the guns, and 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms. it doesn't matter how many lemons you get out there on the street, begging for them to have their guns taken. we will not relinquish them, do you understand? that's why you're going to fail,
and establishment knows, no matter how much propaganda, we will rise again. my family was at the core on both sides starting that because santa ana came to take the guns. piers, don't try what your ancestors did before. why don't you come to america, i'll take you out shooting, you can become an american and join the republic. >> piers is joining us now live from new york. piers, did you have -- were you comfortable giving this guy all this air time, this publicity on your show? >> you know, wolf, i think it's one of those cases where i had a few gun rights activists on before the holiday. and i was accused of being rude with them and slightly overbearing, because i found them very frustrating, i got angry. i was so very passionate, following what happened at sandy hook, as we all were. and my position on what should be done about gun control, i've been advocating for a long time. so this to me was a tipping point. and to hear them continue to espouse this, you cannot touch
any guns philosophy, i found very frustrating. with alex jones, i took a different tact. my tact was to try and show that i could be a listener, that i would give him the time to explain, articulate his position, but instead, he didn't want to debate anything or discuss it. but i found it illuminating that during his rant, you got a real sense of what an element of the more extreme gun activists in this country genuinely believe. they believe that their government will perform as a sort of tyranny and overthrow them or try to, and that is why they all need to be heavily armed. and that's what he believes. that's what his followers, to his pretty well-listened to show believe. and i think sometimes, you have to give people just enough rope to tie themselves into a large, pretty unedifying not. and that's what happened last night. >> so, piers, what do you make of this petition? while you brought this man on
your show, he also draw a lot of attention to himself with that petition on the white house website that went viral in and of itself, all on its own. so what do you make of this petition that they have out there? >> well, you see, look, the petition is obviously, i think, a bit ridiculous. i was operating my right under the first amendment. so for them to criticize me for attacking the second amendment, by wanting to deport me for expressing a view protected by the first amendment is plainly hypocritical and ridiculous. and i don't anticipate that president obama is going to order my deportation. the white house made a statement last night, saying they will say something about this, they will have a verdict, but they also said that we want to remind people about the right to freedom of expression, which is very important. but i thought last night was a very illuminating insight, as i say, into what the more extreme elements of the gun rights lobby really believe. and it's pretty terrifying. this guy owns 50 guns and i would and say 90% of all the people who have seen this
interview on social media today have been pretty appalled by what he was saying and the way he said it. it sort of exemplified, i think, the really violent rhetoric, which has poisoned so much of the political discourse in this country. and for that reason, i was pleased to have him on, pleased to let him have his say, please to say very little. let minimum say what he and many people in his little following believe. and it's pretty scary. >> to be fair, there are millions of gun owners who are not like this alex jones, who still do not agree with your position on gun control, but that's a different part of the conversation? >> well, i think you have to understand exactly what i'm calling for. i have an absolute respect for an american's right to bear an arm under the second amendment, to protect themselves or their family in their home. i get that. that is a cultural thing, different to my country, but i have total respect for it.
i have no wish to go and grab the 300 million guns in america in circulation or stop an american from defending himself. but where i have a real problem, the last four or five mass shootings in america and they've been increasing in shacale, they've all been using the same type of weapon, these ar-15 style military assault weapons. and there is no conceivable reason to me why any civilian needs one of these, particularly when they load them with these magazines with 100 bullets. they are mass killing machines and they should be removed from civilian circulation and kept where they belong, on the battlefield of the american plilt. and i think a lot of people watched last night and thought, you know what, if that is the voice of people who want to keep ar-15s in civilian hands, then this is a pretty terrifying moment for america and it's time that everybody woke up and thought, something has to give, something has to change. you can't allow 20 schoolchildren from the ages of 6 to 7 to get slaughtered in an
elementary school and do nothing. that is not an option. >> very quickly, piers, would you invite alex jones back on your show? >> yeah, i wouldn't mind having him back, and talking to him in a calm and reasonable matter. i want this debate to be at the forefront of the american political and social debate. i've been at cnn nearly two years now. there have been so many outrages from gabby giffords from a week before i started, to sandy hook. nothing ever changes and i don't get it. we had a a sandy hook style disaster, massacre in dublin, scotland, in 1996 in my country and everything changed. a national ban on handguns, a national ban on assault rifles, and guess what? there hasn't been a single shooting in a school since. there's only been one or two, what you'd even describe as a near mass shooting since in our country. the same in australia. this is not rocket science. take these assault rifles and weapons off the streets.
>> piers is going to have a lot more on this story later tonight, 9:00 p.m. eastern. piers, thanks very much for joining us. >> thanks, wolf. thank you. still ahead, incredible good fortune followed by a grisly death. authorities say a big lottery winner was poisoned. the mystery ahead. sorry. sore knee.
police now suspect that one man's good fortune may have been a motive for murder. >> it's an amazing story. they're investigating the death of a chicago man, who died of cyanide poisoning, just days after winning a huge lottery jackpot. >> cnn's mary snow is working the story for us. what are you finding out, mary? >> wolf, if it hadn't been for a tip from a family member to the
medical examiner's office in chicago, this case may never have come to light. but police are now treating it as a homicide and the medical examiner is moving to exhume the body of a lottery winner who came forward in june. it was supposed to have been the start of better times for 46-year-old ruj khan and his wife and daughter. he won a $1 million jackpot after buying a ticket at a 7-eleven in chicago and hoped to pay off his bills, invest in his dry cleaning business, and donate money to st. jude's children's research hospital. >> he was speechless. it was just like running around and not knowing what to do, shaking hands. >> reporter: in july, just as his one-time payment of $424,000 was mailed out, khan died suddenly. that evening, he'd gone home, ate dinner, and went to bed. according to a police document obtained by the "chicago tribune," it reports his family heard him screaming, took him a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. at that time, khan's death was determined to be from natural
causes. but a few days later, the medical examiner says a relative of khan called to suggest there may be more to the story. more tests were done, and cyanide was found in his blood. >> you know, once we found that it was qualitatively present, clearly that raises flags, because it shouldn't be detected at all. so once that was in the mix, i wasn't that surprised that eventually we had a lethal level. it doesn't take that all much cyanide to kill a person. >> and now chicago police are investigating it as a murder. >> if you're going to try to commit the perfect murder, this is a good way to do it. >> reporter: lawrence kobilinsky is a professor of forensic science. he says cyanide is not easily detected on drug screenings and a small amount can kill a person quickly. and he said, labs are only one place to find it. >> it's usually kept under lock and key, but, again, if you work in the photographic industry, if you worked in a metal processing
plant, electroplating, for example, or if you worked in a plant where you work with insecticides, those are places you would find cyanide. >> so it's not all that difficult to obtain? >> it's really not all that difficult. if somebody wants to get it, they can get it. >> now, the only thing the chicago police department would say on the record is they're investigating khan's death as a murder and working closely with the medical examiner. as for that lottery check that was mailed out, an official with the illinois lottery says that records show that it was paid several weeks after khan's death. wolf? >> mary snow, thanks very much for that report. we'll stay on top of it. kate? a record year for heat. 2012 goes down in history. details of just how hot it was. plus, a hot air balloon goes out of control, taking a wedding party -- laook at this -- on a terrifying ride. (phone ringing)
record, thanks to the droughts, tornadoes, and hurricanes, it also comes in second for years with the most extreme weather. the u.s. racked up a total of 11 weather-related disasters that caused at least $1 billion in losses. and we should find out tomorrow whether the people who run the insurance company aig are looking to maybe bite the hand that saved them. the federal government spent $182 billion bailing out aig, i'm sure you remember. the money was paid back with interest. now, aig may join a lawsuit claiming the terms of the bailout unfairly hurt its shareholders. and depending on how you look at it, a judge's ruling today is a victory, either for freedom or for the bad guys. the judge says new york city police cannot randomly stop and frisk people entering or leaving private residential buildings, even in high-crime areas. bottom line, police must have a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing before they stop someone. and this just in. an update to a story we brought
to you just last hour in "the situation room." the department of transportation just announced it's revoked the operating authority for the canadian bus company involved in last week's crash that killed nine. just look at those pictures. the company can no longer operate in the united states. finally, take a look at this unbelievable hot air balloon ride. >> hold on. brace. >> oh, no. on board, a wedding party of 13 people, a huge wind gust sent the balloon careening to the ground, out of control. the gondola crashed through a chain link fence and the balloon came to a rest on a house. amazingly, no one was seriously hurt. i love a hot air balloon ride, but not one that ends with that kind of -- >> dangerous. they're lucky. >> very lucky. >> thank you. >> and congratulations on your wedding, by the way, i guess we should say. >> say to those folks on the
balloon ride, they're lucky to be okay. first a fire, now a fuel leak, all raising serious new concerns about the world's newest airliner, the dreamliner. stand by. plus, he has serious concerns about the nominee for defense secretary, so what will john mccain ask former senator chuck hagel when he goes before congress? senator mccain standing by to join us live. with an irregular . the usual, bob? not today. [ male announcer ] bob has afib: atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem, a condition that puts him at greater risk for a stroke. [ gps ] turn left. i don't think so. [ male announcer ] for years, bob took warfarin, and made a monthly trip to the clinic to get his blood tested. but not anymore. bob's doctor recommended a different option: once-a-day xarelto®. xarelto® is the first and only once-a-day prescription blood thinner for patients with afib not caused by a heart valve problem, that doesn't require routine blood monitoring. like warfarin, xarelto® is proven effective to reduce the risk of an afib-related stroke.
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about any conditions, such as kidney, liver or bleeding problems. ready to change your routine? ask your doctor about once-a-day xarelto®. for more information including cost support options, call 1-888-xarelto or visit goxarelto.com. there are serious concerns now about one of the world's most anticipated new passenger jets, boeing's 787, the dreamliner. two nightmarish incidents are now under investigation. cnn's sandra endo is joining us. she's got details. sandy? >> well, wolf, a fire and
leaking fuel on two of boeing's 787 dreamliners in as many days. it's a series of black eyes for the manufacturer's much-heralded marquise plane that recently debuted. >> reporter: fuel leaking from a japan airliner, 787 dreamliner, as it was preparing to fly from boston's logan airport to tokyo with 180 passengers. an alert crew in another plane saw the leak and notified the control tower. >> hey, that japan air may know it, but they've got fuel or something spewing out the leftward wing quite a bit. >> reporter: then the control tower contacted the unsuspecting jal pilot. >> japan air 7 heavy, we're going to send a fire engine truck out to your aircraft to make sure everything's okay, but it appears that there is fuel coming from your left wing. >> you mean fuel leak from left wing? >> reporter: it's the second of boeing's marquee aircraft to face trouble in two days.
on monday, at the same boston airport, a different japan airline boeing 787 dreamliner caught fire. it involves batteries located in the belly of the plane, which prides electricity to the plane while on the ground. the national transportation safety board is investigating the fire, and in a statement, boeing says it's working with investigators, adding, nothing we've seen in this case indicates a relationship with any previous 787 power system events. last month, a united airlines dreamliner flying from houston to newark diverted to new orleans after the crew reported an electrical problem. in september, after federal inspectors forced inspections on all 787s in the air, inspectors found engine cracks on two different 787s. united airlines tells cnn they inspected their 787s overnight, but were not willing to discuss what, if anything, they found.
a boston airport official says the plane that was spewing fuel, well, it was checked out and cleared to fly again, but the problems are affecting boeing's shares. they fell today 3.6%. wolf? >> sandra endo, thanks very much for that report. and richard quest is joining us from new york right now. richard, how serious, how bad are these problems involving the dreamliner right now? >> i think the problems of the last 48 hours are more serious than some that we've seen earlier. the ones that we've seen earlier are problems with the power generators, there have been some electrical problems on a united plane, on a qatar airways plane. but the last 48 hours are different. we have an explosion of some batteries, which leads to a fire onboard the aircraft, although there were no passengers. and now, we have the same airline, but different plane taxiing out from boston, and as it's taxiing out, there's a fuel leak. now, a fuel leak is always a serious matter.
and that's why the ntsb is now starting to look at exactly the air worthiness issues, what was behind it, they've got investigation teams that are on their way to boston. and they're going to be asking the tough questions, wolf. they're going to want to know why brand-new aircraft, seemingly have recurring problems, albeit, of a different nature. are these the little glitches that boeing says they are, that happen with all new major complicated planes, or is there something else that's happening? there are lots of rumors, wolf, about whether the wiring has been done properly, whether this has been done properly or the other. so that's the issue at the moment. >> i assume, richard, there's been a backlash already, from the airlines that have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase these dreamliners from boeing? >> yes. and the serious part about that is the airlines are used to glitches. so it's not like you or me, the
airlines expect a certain amount of headache, toothache, pain and misery with a new plane, a new model. but they don't expect it to be of this level. aog is the phrase they use, aircraft on the ground. now, the chief executive of qatar airways, akbar al baca, he had a program go tech on its delivery flight from seattle to dohar. not surprisingly, he was pretty much steaming about it all. >> we are not happy with what happened to us. we pay a lot of money to get our airplanes. we have waited three years, and when we get an aircraft that from day one has a technical problem, regardless, if it is a new program or not, it is unacceptable. they have a quality problem. and this quality problem should be resolved. i think they had three long years to resolve quality
problems. this should not continue this quality problem. i know that it is a very sophisticated airplane. it is state of the art airplane. it is a completely brand-new technology in this airplane, but they had enough time to sort it out. >> and that is the problem. it is new technology with the carbon fibers of the body. it has got new wiring systems, it has got new avionics. this aircraft is a quantum leap in aviation. but the fear, wolf, is that because of the way boeing's been making it, the subcontracting out, all the different ways of doing it, the fear is something's gone wrong into the systems, the way it's been done. that's what the ntsb will be looking into. >> you've actually flown, richard, on a dreamliner. is it all it's supposedly cracked up to be? >> unbelievably quiet, the big windows are fantastic to look out of. and because of this magnificent wing, if you come back to me,
the wing has this extraordinary thing, where the wing will lift itself up. you can actually see the wing lift as the plane takes off, and when it lands, the wings fall back down again. so it's a very different aircraft. the feel of it, the way it's on board, but frankly, the airlines will say that plane is for putting lots of passengers on board to make money and it doesn't make money when it's sitting on the ground being repaired. >> richard quest with an excellent explanation, as usual, thanks very much. the president has nominated his next defense secretary as well as director of the cia, but senator john mccain of arizona, he may have some issues there. we're going to talk to the senator, coming up next.
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some of his former senate colleagues and former republicans -- or fellow republicans, i should say, are raising serious concerns about chuck hagel's nomination to be the next secretary of defense. among them, senator john mccain of arizona, the ranking member of the armed services committee, which will hold the confirmation hearings. the senator is joining us now from arizona. senator mccain, thanks very much
for coming in. >> thank you. >> let's get to chuck hagel, first of all. you released a pretty strong statemen statement. among other things, you wrote this. "i have serious concerns about positions senator hagel has taken on a range of national security issues in recent years, dh we will fully consider in the course of his confirmation process." so you have the chance to question him. what's his biggest concern? >> well, my biggest concern is his overall attitude about the united states, our role in the world, particularly in the middle east and whether we should reduce the pentagon further, but mainly, his general overall world view. chuck hagel and i are friends. i appreciate and honor his service in the vietnam conflict and we have worked together on a number of issues. i have noticed over the years that our views on the united states of america and what we should be doing in the world has diverged rather dramatically, and i guess the best example of
that is the surge in iraq. we both knew that we were losing the war in iraq. lindsey graham and i and joe lieberman and others knew we needed a surge and the president somewhat reluctantly adapted the surge and it succeeded. now, what the president did afterwards is another discussion. but chuck hagel, at the time, made the rather unusual statement, at least to me, and said that the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since vietnam, and then, somewhat, in his statement if the foreign relations committee, compared it to the invasion of cambodia. now, that, to me is -- and i've never heard him contradict that statement or change his position about the surge. we lost over 2,000 young americans in iraq and we could have succeeded there. as you noticed, it's unraveling
now, because the president decided to get out without a residual force. but the surge did succeed, and senator hagel, obviously, said he couldn't and he called it the biggest blunder since the vietnam war. that is really a gross misconception of america's roles there and in the world. >> and in defense of the president, he got out because the iraqi government wouldn't allow u.s. troops to remain there after withdrawal, to have immunity from iraqi prosecution. and he said, we're not leaving troops there if they're going to be potentially arrested by the iraqi senator. >> wolf, now, you know, that's one of the great mists perpetrated by the obama administration. lindsey graham, joe lieberman and i were there. they were ready to deal. they would not tell the iraqis how many troops they wanted there, they could have stayed, they cut it way, way back down to around 3,000 troops, where they couldn't have been protected, and iraqis said, no deal. but it was because the president wanted out. he never gave them a chance to
accept a reasonable number, and it is a huge failure and we are paying a very heavy price for it. don't believe that about what the iraqis said. i was there. i was there and looked maliki in the eye and said, how many troops do you want, i'll agree? and he turned our ambassador, general austin and he said, we're still working on it. i camed back and asked our adviser, how many? and they would not give a number. they wanted out, they got out, now we're paying a very heavy price for it. >> and back to chuck hagel, senator, take a look back, he and you did seem pretty good friends. i want you to listen to this. >> my fellow americans, i introduce you to a great republican, a great american leader, my friend, john mccain. >> that was from the 2000 national republican convention.
and in 2006, you're quoted as telling "new york times," "i'd be honored to have chuck with me in any capacity, he'd make a great secretary of state." so senator mccain, what happened to the friendship? >> the friendship, i hope, is still there. but our views began to diverge rather dramatically about the role of the united states in the world, as i just explained. not only as far as iraq was concerned, iran, sanctions on iran, which he voted against, blocked in one set of sanctions. basically took a view of the iranian threat, which i don't think has been justified by events that followed. and several other areas in national security policy. i respect, admire, and call him a friend but i have very serious questions about whether he will serve in the way that i think serve america's best national interests, but i want to have
hearings, i would like to hear him make his case and i will reserve judgment. >> you also have serious questions about john brennan to become the next director of the cia. the statement you released on his nomination, you say, "i have many questions and concerns about his nomination to be director of the cia, especially what role he played in the so-called enhanced interrogation programs, while serving at the cia during the last administration." what do you think? what are you going to ask him about that? he seems to have answered a lot of those questions already. >> well, i've never heard anyone say that at the time, they heard mr. brennan object to the waterboarding and the other techniques which were in violation of the geneva conventions, which the united states is a signatory to. second of all, there are some events that took place on his watch that are still not being fully investigated. and i also believe that there are serious questions about the
information that mr. brennan gave from the white house after the bin laden raid, such as the identification of s.e.a.l. team 6, a story about how they believed that bin laden had reached for a gun or -- a number of statements that he made. so there was supposed to be an investigation of the leaks concerning the bin laden raid, and is he still subject to that investigation? that investigation is still going on, as far as i know. >> and your friend, senator lindsey graham came out today, basically in a statement, threatening to put a hold on brennan's nomination until he gets better answers or more satisfactory answers on the attack in benghazi. specifically, susan rice's talking points, when she went on the sunday morning talk shows. do you stand with senator graham on that? do you think his nomination should be held? >> well, i'm not sure about that, but i do believe that it should be of great interest to the american people, that we
still haven't gotten an accurate depiction of how the talking points in a classified fashion then went to an unclassified talking points, which took out the words terrorist, al qaeda, any reference of that to a terrorist attack and completely changed the impression that people got concerning narrative of what happened when we lost four brave americans. so i think lindsay's point is very well made. we still haven't find out these many months later, who changed the talking points and why? i think that's a legitimate question. >> one final question, senator, before we let you go. north korea. you tweeted this yesterday. it had jumped out at me. you're talking about bill richardson, it will former u.s. ambassador to the u.n., former new mexico governor, eric schmidt, the google chairman. you said, richardson and schmidt arrive in north korea today, lennin used to call them, quote, useful idiots. all right, explain. >> you know, he would have people over to the soviet union,
and he would take them on the tour of the model farm and all of that, and people would come back and say, gee, it's wonderful, what was "the new york times" guy, you probably remember, wolf, who says, i have seen the revolution in the future and it's there in russia and they were all fueled. now, the north koreans just launched a missile that could have the potential, if they develop a nuclear weapon of the right size, that could hit the united states of america. there are 250,000 people in their gulag. do you think that the north koreans are going to take governor richardson and mr. schmidt to see one of those gulags? i don't think so. so what this does, it provides a propaganda kind of success for this young four-star general, with his people. see, the americans have come to see us. and finally, how many trips has mr. richardson taken to north korea and what have been the results of it? >> well, i actually went with
him two years ago, i covered that trip, and it was a very tense time, and there seemed to be a little easing after that trip of the tensions of north korea. it seemed to ease a little bit as a result of that trip. he's also trying to bring home an american citizen who's being held captive in north korea right now so hopefully achieve something on that trip, but you obviously degree. >> well, wolf, i think that it's important to recognize what a big propaganda thing this is for north korean leaders, especially this young man who hasn't proven him. even our state department said that they did not think it was a good thing to do at this time. again, this is the most repressive, brutal regime on earth. 250,000 people are dying in the gulag. most t got a book from a guy
horrific conditions. shouldn't we be condemning this kind of thing rather than sending -- people going over there and providing them with some kind of propaganda? to me, it's not appropriate. i think it's a job for our government and our state department and again, i think that maybe it eased the tensions a little bit. you may have a point there. but did it deter the north koreans from the path that they're on which is to develop a missile which will hit the united states of america and their continued transfer of this technology to countries like iran and others? >> i don't disagree with you. it's a brutal regime and we were really restricted in what we could see, obviously. they didn't show us any gulags, to be sure. i think in defense of richardson, he's going with his eyes wide open. he's not going to come back and be a propagandist for north korea. we'll hear what he says when he comes back and hopefully we will say the right thing. i suspect he will.
we'll see. senator, as usual, thanks very much. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ...and down. just use your maxperks card and get a case of x-9 paper for only 1-cent after maxperks rewards. find thousands of big deals now... ...at officemax. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? and save hundreds with our best offer. get an adt security system starting at just $49 installed, but for a limited time only. that's an instant savings of $250.
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it's become an iconic image of hurricane sandy, a damaged roller coaster now has a new feature. jeanne moos has more. >> reporter: he's a surfer and climber and above the surf he climbed to place a flag on the top of this roller coaster, partly submerged by super storm sandy. 38-year-old chris angelo took photos of himself and the flag, then sent them to news 12 new jersey. he called into a local radio station's magic morning show. >> today i decided to come up here and put a flag up. it looks so bare without a flag. >> reporter: he paddled out in a
canoe. soon helicopters hovered and police boats approached. >> i have no weapons or nothing like that, if the police are going to get involved. >> reporter: the star jet roller coaster became a star, a monument to the destruction of the storm. it was visited by everyone from the vice president to new jersey's governor. president obama flew over it and now this. angelo planned to stay on top of the coaster for a couple of days. he packed food, clothing, a wet suit and even a sleeping bag. he had a little camera on his helmet. officers tried to coax him down over his cell phone. according to the police chief of seaside heights -- >> i don't think the kid's got a bad bone in his body. i just think he's misplaced. >> reporter: he called the surf his backyard. his mom said he was motivated by -- >> a love for something gone and lost, i guess. and you know, he's displaced as many others are. tired of living hand to mouth. >> reporter: within an hour or so police coaxed him down. he was